Each Sunday, in this space, Marie Antoinette fields questions about love and life and shares the fruits of her experience. If you’re in a pickle, please send your issue to whatwouldmarieantoinettedo at gmail dot com.
Like, Omigod, Hi,
First off, I want to say that you’re like totally hot. I always thought so. You and I have so much in common. Like we both have the cutest dogs and bring them everywhere (BTW: Tinkerbell thinks you’re hot, too). We both have like, awesome clothes. And people like, totally freak out when we do anything. You might have heard, I got into a little trouble in Vegas this weekend and like (allegedly) there may have been some cocaine. (Hello. It’s Vegas). Anyway, people are freaking out and it’s a trending topic on Twitter, and I wanted to know how you got people to, like, calm down.
I know how you feel exactly. During my many dissipations, my partying and late nights, I did many, many things. Once, I even rented a nightingale. That’s not a euphemism for anything. I actually rented a nightingale. (Note to teens: This was what was available to bored noble teenagers before DVDs. Imagine many late nights with many powder-haired young people asking: “What do you wanna do tonight?” “I dunno. Wanna rent a nightingale?”).
Looking back, it was rather silly to rent a nightingale. I was the Dauphine of France and could have bought the bird outright, for heaven’s sake. But I didn’t. Really, renting a nightingale was the next logical step for someone whose highs had nothing to do with drink (I drank mineral water) or sex (I wasn’t getting any) but with the types of exotic oddities not limited by cash and imagination. After dancing, gambling, and midnight masquerades, what was left? I was making the most of my extended adolescence (one of the true privileges of my standing).
We can’t literally rent nightingales today (which is a terrible pity) but your era offers its share of distractions. Drugs and partying, for some, are among them. While they fill the time, they don’t do more than that. I woke up after years of late nights wondering why I wasn’t shown the respect Queen like myself should have had. I realized too late that one’s time is an investment in the person we’d like to one day be. My partying and spending didn’t earn out anything but the resentment of my struggling country. I rode to the scaffold knowing that my reputation destroyed the monarchy and orphaned my children. I’m still best known for my partying and spending, despite my many good and decent works. My extended adolescence (and that of the French nobility) benefited by a massive social and political revolution for its wakeup call. I dare say your generation does not have that advantage. The best a gal could hope for in such a situation is just what you’ve found: an arrest and a chance to think matters over. You’re 29, beautiful and famous and have more glorious ways that you could shape your nation’s headlines. Take this chance, now that you’ve got it. I’ve found identifying one’s distractions is the first step to avoiding one’s own personal upheaval. Embrace the nightingale at your peril.
*Disclaimer: Paris Hilton did not write Marie Antoinette, anymore than Marie Antoinette is actually writing back. This is all imaginary.